Thomas Alers

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Thomas Alers

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1806 - 1872




Thomas Hankey photographed by Cuthbert Hopkinson c.1870.

Image source: Bourne Hall Museum



Third surviving son of William Alers Hankey and Mary nee Martin, Thomas was born on 12 Feb 1806 and was baptised on 30 Mar at the Independent chapel at Bull Lane, Stepney.

He was educated at Mill Hill School. He was known as Tom or Long Tom, evidently on account of his height.

Thomas was married on 22 Jun 1831 at Clapham to Elizabeth Green, daughter of George Green (1767-1849) and his second wife Elizabeth nee Unwin.

George Green, of Blackwall and Clapham, who like the Alers Hankeys was a non-conformist, was a ‘builder of ships and owner of England’s finest merchant fleet’ - the Blackwall clippers sailing to India and later to Australia. George Green was owner of the Blackwall shipyard, which had previously been held by his first wife’s father John Perry (1743-1810), whose sister had married Joseph Hankey in 1765 (Joseph Hankey’s grandfather Sir Henry Johnson having previously been owner of the same yard).

It was said that George Green was opposed to his daughter’s marriage, but withdrew his objections when she threatened to drink vinegar to make herself thin and ugly.


Thomas Alers Hankey was father of three sons:









He was a banker, being a partner of Hankey & Co. from about 1831 and, from 1863, a director of the Consolidated Bank. In 1839 he was appointed as one of Her Majesty’s Commissioners to look into the current state of the laws on bankruptcy and the relevant courts. He was also in partnership with Richard Fothergill and Benjamin Bateman in the firm Fothergill, Hankey & Bateman; in 1862 this firm bought the Plymouth Ironworks at Merthyr Tydfil for £250,000. The lack of capital to convert to steel production finally led to closure in 1880, though the company continued to mine its vast reserves of coal.

Thomas was a JP for Surrey. From about 1834 he lived at 147 Clapham Common (on the West Side near Nightingale Lane). In 1861 the family were living at 6 Brunswick Terrace, Hove. They moved to Woodcote Road, Epsom in about 1862.

Elizabeth died at Epsom on 18 Nov 1868 and was buried on 23 Nov at Ashstead.

Thomas died at Epsom on 29 Feb 1872 and was buried on 6 Mar at Ashstead; he left an estate under £600,000.